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Rise of the Planet of the Apes
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Index 605 reviews in total 

307 out of 454 people found the following review useful:

The most emotional Planet of the Apes film.

9/10
Author: Dragonsouls from New York, NY
5 August 2011

To sum it up, a very powerful film falling just short of being a masterpiece. However, the only flaw in the film is that the film could have been just a bit longer! I am really hoping for a director's cut because there should have been a few more character development scenes between father and son, boyfriend and girlfriend, and even Ape and Human. I felt the movie was paced a bit too quickly but nevertheless, still contains very fleshed out characters driven by excellent performances throughout, from Lithgow, to Franco, to Cox and especially by Andy Serkis.

Cesar is by far the best animated character in the history of cinema. His facial expressions tell it all! You feel his rage, his fear, and his child like innocence through his wonderfully animated eyes. Not only is the C.G.I. good, but the character is written very well in general. You will go through all of those emotions yourself as you witness his journey. All I can say is that I now know why I try to walk my dog without a leash as much as possible. This movie just confirmed it for me! Through the film, you will understand what Cesar is feeling and why. The invisible character of the film is humanity itself, and at times, feels like a study of human nature.

Plot wise, it is very well told. I thought there was nothing cheesy about the script, although not as intelligent as the original, but not dumb either. There is some science fiction in the film, and other than the experimental drug, there was some other surprising Science fiction plot elements in it too which might lead into the sequel; if there is one of course, and I think there will be.

For the skeptics who think the film would be cheesy seeing all the apes battle armed policemen then think again. I too, was a bit skeptical at first, wondering how the apes would defeat an entire police force, but when you watch the film your doubts would dissipate. Just remember the physical ability of apes and how powerful the apes are, and how much more powerful they would be if they had brains! The action was very good, but as good as it was, I'd trade it in for more plot development. There were a bit too many plot jumps in the last 30 minutes, but all in all, it was directed very, very well. Coupled with a good score, mellow at times, but highly dramatic which heightens the tension. Speaking of tension, there is a lot of it in this film. If you're an animal lover like I am, then be warned; You will be in tears 30 seconds into the opening scene.

I also wanted to mention the original film even though it's tough to compare the two. This is an origins story that actually makes the original better. The original was more about the plot than the characters and they each stand apart and alone with their own merits and flaws. It was nice to see a few homages to the old classic, and don't be surprised if you see a character from the original as well. I highly doubt this film will disappoint the fans of the original and TV series! It will have you climbing trees!

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260 out of 373 people found the following review useful:

More than expected

8/10
Author: lodewickus from Australia
4 August 2011

There are so many things right about this movie, the little things that are wrong are easily forgiven. Some slight plot holes, but the film and characters make up for it. The chemistry between Franco and Pinto is weak, however Franco plays his part. Lithgow is always a great asset to any production, and does a great job here.

Albeit you know the chimps are CGI, their eyes look amazing, with depth and personality, and along with their body language and facial animations, you really do forget they are CGI. The music is powerful and tense, and I loved the way it builds up through out the movie. Starting with light orchestra at the beginning, while starting to feel very tribal without overdoing it towards the end.

There are moments that are truly gratifying, and Caeser really steals the show with his evolution through out the movie. The journey Caeser takes really connects and you feel his plight. With moments of thought, heart and action, Rise really hits the mark for the audience it's aiming for.

Excellent entertainment all round!

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281 out of 425 people found the following review useful:

Wow It's actually a great movie!

8/10
Author: Grey Gardens from United States
2 August 2011

I had extremely low expectations for Rise of the Planet of the Apes (2011). I loved the original 1968 classic, but every sequel/remake after it sucked. I was surprised they were going to make a prequel of the classic and I thought it was a good idea. But still after so many bad sequels and remakes, I still had my big doubts. Also I didn't like how the monkeys were made by CGI/Special Effects, why not use a robotic monkey or a real one, it would look more real.

After my viewing of the film, I was pleasantly surprised and I liked it overall. But there were definitely flaws in the movie, no doubt about it. The characters were a bit uninteresting at times, there were subplots that went pretty much nowhere and indicated that there could sequels in the works, but it all depends on how much money it makes. The movie, at some points turned to an average summer blockbuster with all the action scenes and explosions, but it redeems itself later on.

However there are plenty of positive qualities, the movie has. Andy Serkis delivers a great performance as the lead ape in the film and is pretty much the star of the film. James Franco and Freida Pinto, both did a good job portraying their characters. The movie also poses ethical/moral questions, which I found very interesting. The movie is easily on of the most thrilling films we've had this summer. Finally a movie that pays respect to the 1968 original science fiction classic!

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338 out of 548 people found the following review useful:

Hands down, the best summer movie of 2011

9/10
Author: blackmambamark from United States
5 August 2011

Of all the movies that can possibly be re-booted......why reboot another movie that's already been re-booted? And of all the projects that the Weta team can possibly tackle, why this one? Well it must be the script, because everyone that's come across it has wanted to be somewhat involved. Hopefully it lives up to the expectations that are already in place, because i don't think i could handle another stink bomb like Burton's version.

Finally......a summer movie that's actually WORTH your summer dollar. Almost every element of this film is pitch perfect. Just what makes this 'oh so' great? Allow me to explain....

Judging from the preview, i thought the movie to be a little too relative to the concept from "Deep Blue Sea". But this movie takes a much more different route with their Alzheimer's approach. Needless to say, they did a much better job than that movie.....obviously.

I know most people may be scratching their heads to this comment, but in my opinion, this is easily the most well written script of the year thus far. It's intelligent, thought provoking, emotional, and damn well entertaining. What makes this so good is the progression of the main ape 'Ceaser' (heh, ironic name), and his journey from a curious and smart ape, into an upset ape that realizes the harsh realities of being treated like an animal. It's now easy to see just why everyone jumped on board when they read this. I kid you not, i actually got goosebumps from this movie, and that rarely happens.

And once again, the Weta team did a phenomenal job with their brilliant special effects. Andy Serkis who has already done work like this before in 'Lord of Rings' and 'King Kong', out preformed most actors in Hollywood without barely saying a word. Is it wrong to say that a man in a blue suit with dots all over him, imitating an ape is so far the best actor i've seen this year? Uh.....not at all. Trust me, see the movie, and you'll understand why.

Bottom Line.......not only is this easily the best movie of the summer, i will go as far as saying it's the best movie i have seen so far this year. Yes, it is THAT good. Like i said earlier, almost every element of this movie is pitch perfect. The writing, the acting, the special effects.....all done to near perfection. It some people's eyes, this is called a reboot. However, it feels more like a prequel. But judging from what i just saw, i hope to god that they make more of these, because it literally just blew my mind.

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175 out of 252 people found the following review useful:

These apes rise not only in style, but also in substance

8/10
Author: Movie_Muse_Reviews from IL, USA
5 August 2011

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

The one thing that always made the "Planet of the Apes" a bit campy was actors in make up and monkey suits. So in one instance, here's where technology, specifically the use motion- capture technology as seen in "Avatar," can almost single-handedly justify revisiting an old franchise. But the apes of "Rise of the Planet of the Apes" don't just look amazing they have souls. So does this script, which delivers one of the summer's biggest surprises in terms of pure entertainment and depth of storytelling. Unlike the "Transformers" franchise, where giant steel-crushing robots have gotten lost in inane plots driven by pointless human characters, "Rise" keeps the primates as an almost exclusive focus. Somewhere close to the midpoint, humans even take a back seat to the captivating ape-centered story arcs crafted by writers Rick Jaffa and Amanda Silver. Not only do apes most definitely rise in this movie, but they also do so with clear tremendous purpose. The story of how a potential cure for Alzheimer's went out of control couldn't be more crystal clear, as is the reasoning that inspires an ape named Caesar to incite a rebellion. James Franco plays scientist Will Rodman, who's experimenting with his Alzheimer's cure on apes. His most recent tests show incredible cognitive abilities in one ape and so he makes a presentation to the company's board asking for permission to test the drug on humans. Things go wrong during the presentation, however, when the ape goes, well ape and on display for the whole lab. The apes are ordered to be put down and Franco's entire operation gets shut down. However, the trial ape had been hiding a newborn baby. Will secretly takes it home where his father (John Lithgow) suffers from Alzheimer's. Turns out the chimp, which his father names Caesar, inherited the cognitive abilities of the drug through its mother. As Caesar grows and exhibits tremendous mental growth (including helping Will land an otherwise pointless girlfriend in Freida Pinto), Will desperately tests the drug on his father and suddenly he has hope for the project to continue. This origin story plays out for most of the film, but Caesar ends up becoming the focus. Although he says nothing, he generates incredible sympathy through consummate mo-cap actor Andy Serkis (Gollum in "The Lord of the Rings"). Add to that the burgeoning scientific moral dilemma and "Rise" builds quite the captivating story. The turning points for Caesar that result in and arise from his inhumane captivity all wield the impact that pivotal moments should carry in all films. Despite a story that originated almost 45 years ago, the script lays this perfect and scientifically reasonable foundation for the "Planet of the Apes" we already know. The only thing that feels like a reach is the speed with which the apes develop certain tactical abilities once they all receive the drug. Director Rupert Wyatt definitely understands the script handed to him as he provides the appropriate magnitude to these effective plot points and knows how to create mouth-agape moments. When Oyewolo's character arrives at the lab cafeteria to find a bunch of tables overturned, Wyatt pans up to reveal he's surrounded by apes. There's no reason to think they weren't there waiting for him, but we're caught off guard just long enough to know he better make a run for it. Those are the "glory shots" that make a true blockbuster. Much of the action used to promote the movie comes in the film's final act, which uses all the slowly building tension from scenes showing cruelty toward the apes in the second act to fuel the fire. With such strong motivation accumulated during these first two chunks of the film, the action doesn't have to be that explosive or visceral in order to be effective. Apes tearing humans limb for limb would have certainly made for a more interesting film to say the least, but "Rise" manages to get away with the tamer action due to all the powerful setup and Wyatt provokes some imagination-inspired gore. In addition, the fact that the apes just knock people unconscious serves the script's efforts to show how just like humans some apes are violent and evil in nature while some are sympathetic and merciful. The film expertly muddles our perception of who to root for in this sense. Considering prequels inherently risk their quality on the fact that we know the end result, it's impressive that "Rise of the Planet of the Apes" maintains our interest consistently throughout. The ending does leave something to be desired because it ends just as the battle between apes and humans seems to be going somewhere, but even though I'm not sure what would happen (or what the title would be for that matter), if the sequel picks up right where this left off count me in. ~Steven C

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132 out of 193 people found the following review useful:

The Best Planet of the Apes film since the original

9/10
Author: michael-colan from United States
6 August 2011

There was a lot of hype going into this film. I was very excited to finally see another Planet of the Apes film. I am a big fan of the original and had fun with the sequels and even after Tim Burton's remake I was still excited for this film and I got to say this is the best Planet of the Apes picture since the original.

This story is an origin story about how the Apes began to rise to power and about a man who is bent on curing Alzheimer's and raising an ape who has been past on the genes of the cure from his mother and what the effects this has on this one ape named Caesar.

The very surprising thing about this film is how story based and character based it really is. From the trailers it looked like just another cure gone wrong and a lot of violence happens but I was truly surprised by this film's story and how well told it was. I do think it needed to be just a tad longer in the beginning showing a little more of Caesar's childhood but it's a small fault and can be overlooked. But it is something truly wonderful to see how truly well fleshed out these characters are in this film especially for a "summer blockbuster." All character motivations are known throughout the film. James Franco's character named Will Rodman really wants to make this cure so he can cure his father. So a lot of us can really connect with him and in seeing he is making this cure for the best intentions. And his boss is the classic wants the cure for money type of character. But the best most drawn out character is the character of Caesar. The chimpanzee that becomes increased in intelligence is the true star of the film. He cannot talk and he is a computer made image and yet you really understand him, love him, and feel for him. Caesar is played by motion capture actor Andy Serkis (his second film as an ape, the other one being King Kong (2005)) brings so much to the table. He breathes so much personality into this ape and it's just truly something to wow at and the writers are very wise to really shift the story over from Will to Caesar as Caesar gets sent into an Ape refuge. While there he gets smarter and learns of the true nature of how apes are treated inside there and decides to take action.

I think it was very smart on the filmmakers to shift the apes from makeup to cgi. I wasn't thrilled when I first heard they would make the apes in the computer but after viewing the film I've realized this was the only way to go really. It would look incredibly cheesy if they tried to do what they did in this film with makeup. The motion capture is some of the best to date and the apes look very real. None of the makeups did as good as job as the motion capture did at creating real ape behavior and also by not making them talk I think was a smart move. I don't think making them be able to speak would make it very realistic which seems to be more of the way the film tries to go with rather than a fantasy.

The action is all mostly at the end of the film which is mostly seen in the trailers. While granted there is a little bit here and a little bit there it's all really at the end. It all is very entertaining and the apes do fight like real apes. There are moments where the filmmakers truly capture an ape aggression and what they are truly capable of. Not a lot of people know just how strong and fierce they can be and the film does a good job of showing that.

But something I don't think is mention a lot is that there a nice magical quality to it. The scene in the redwoods is a very magical scene and I really liked it and never liked how it isn't mentioned.

The acting is all very good and is a driving point of the film. James Franco is great, so are John Lithgow and Brian Cox. Also Tom Felton and David Oyelowo are good. Freida Pinto is good and all but I wish her character was given a better purpose and is one of the few faults with this film.

The Music I thought was very good too. It had a very magical yet dark and exciting feel. Composer Patrick Doyle really gives out his best score in years. It will by no means become be considered a masterpiece it just is an above the average movie score and is a score that I would buy when the soundtrack was released on CD.

The Directing by Rupert Wyatt is very good too. He handles the story written with such care. His choices in camera movements and how to properly handle the story is makes him a great choice. Also he uses cgi to better the project and only really uses it when he needs too which is something I always respected in a director these days.

The writers Amanda Silver and Rick Jaffa have crafted a great story and pay so much tribute to the original films. There are so many nice nods to the original which Planet of the Apes fans will enjoy. They also really know how write convincing dialogue and leaves the door open for a sequel but it could be just an make you think type of ending.

The Bottom line is this is a very good story driven film that includes great special effects and matches the original and is the second best film of 2011

Final Score 9/10

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119 out of 171 people found the following review useful:

Rise of the Planet of the Apes is a thought provoking and emotionally driven thrill ride!

Author: FanPerspective from United States
5 August 2011

If you're like me, you will be completely fascinated by the story of this film. I'm a big fan of Planet of the Apes and to get to see its origins is really great. Out of the entire series of movies, I think this one truly is the best. It was just absolutely spectacular! The actors delivered fine performances for their well developed characters; the writers, Rick Jaffa and Amanda Silver, didn't miss a beat with their fantastic and intelligent script; and the story was compelling, exciting and emotionally touching.

The star of the film is an ape named Caesar (whose emotions were brought to life brilliantly by Andy Serkis) who is the baby of an ape that was tested on for scientist Will Rodman's (James Franco) research in an effort that resulted in a way for the brain to heal itself, and what could possibly be the cure for Alzheimer's; a disease very personal for him because his father (John Lithgow) suffers from it -- even though Rodman is warned not to let personal issues get in the way of science. The drug also had another affect... it lead to the development of intelligence in apes. As Caesar grows older and smarter, though, he becomes more aware, questioning who and what he is. It is during an incident that causes Caesar to be separated from Will, in a feeling of abandonment, and then being mistreated by Dodge Landon (Tom Felton) at a shelter that ultimately leads to a hurt and confused Caesar plotting for revenge.. what becomes a war for primacy.

Unlike the Planet of the Apes films from the past, this one did not have people running around in ape suits but instead presented us with CGI primates, emotional performances captured from actors. If I hadn't known it were CGI, though, I would have sworn that they were real apes. They were brilliant! Director Rupert Wyatt did a wonderful job of connecting this prequel to the first film, really catching every little detail and even littered respectful homages to the original throughout the entire film. Honestly, I just loved finding out what lead to the great ape takeover. And as I mentioned before, the script was just wonderful and made for a thought provoking and emotionally driven thrill ride!

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118 out of 172 people found the following review useful:

Against all odds, this must be the best "blockbuster" I've seen all summer.

8/10
Author: MovieAddict2014 from UK
7 August 2011

Summer 2011 will go down in history as one of the more disappointing seasons in many years when it comes to movies. This is the time of year that people rush out in masses to see the latest action extravaganza, and to be fair, some films have delivered on that promise -- "Harry Potter," "Captain America" (though I have yet to see either of them and am simply relying on general reactions) -- but there's been a whole lot of disappointments, too, and the worst part is that people still seem to be flocking to them, almost out of necessity than wont ("Transformers 3" and "Pirates 4" both made over $1 bil worldwide, which is amazing, because they both sucked).

I think the last film anyone expected to reverse the trend this summer was a prequel to a franchise that has been consistently poor over the years since its original incarnation in 1968. Indeed, the first trailer for "Rise of the Planet of the Apes" focused on ape carnage and mayhem, and although a subsequent one highlighted the dramatic underpinning of the film, it seemed like Fox was just trying to turn around its marketing and fool people into thinking there was more than meets the eye.

Alas, the second trailer turned out to be a far more accurate reflection of the movie than anyone would have expected. "Rise of the Apes" is most likely the best film of the blockbuster season, full of heart, carefully crafted and professionally delivered on every level.

Sure, the story has its fair share of clichés -- the "evil caretakers" played by Brian Cox and Tom Felton seem bad just because the film requires them to be, and Felton's performance in particular is so over-the-top that it's almost a caricature -- but because of how the film is packaged, and because it spends so much time focusing on the character of Caesar (played magnificently by Andy Serkis), you are willing to overlook many of the flaws. You care about the characters and the story, even when you kinda know where it's headed and feel like it's a variation of a prison break-out movie with apes in place of humans.

The human cast, as has been noted by many critics, is nothing to write home about. James Franco doesn't exactly phone in his performance but it's not the sort of role that is going to be lining him up for any awards. Toby Maguire was originally lined up for the project before he was dropped (he reportedly came to Fox with script notes, and they promptly cut off discussions with him), but Franco does seem a more natural fit, and does well enough in a role destined to be sidelined by the apes.

And the apes are awesome. No, we haven't quite mastered fully realistic CGI yet -- especially when it's mixed with live actors. (WETA claims that the technology here is superior to "Avatar," but it's not as convincing, perhaps because the CGI so rarely interacted with human actors in "Avatar," and thus we were able to accept the fantasy world more willingly.) However, this is some of the best seen to date. Serkis (who previously played King Kong in Peter Jackson's remake) translates a brilliant performance, for which the film owes a great deal; Caesar is really the crux of the whole thing, and a poor or less realistic performance would have undermined the whole thing. It's the subtle stuff here that makes a difference -- the emotions captured in Caesar's facial expressions, or the glint of sympathy in his eyes when John Lithgow's character begins to suffer from Alzheimer's. There's a moment of genius in that particular scene where Caesar exchanges a sad, knowing glance with Franco's character, and it's eerily touching.

Director Rupert Wyatt follows blockbuster blueprints from beginning to end, but by enriching the first three-quarters of his film with character development and an actual *story* (something so many blockbusters these days seem to be sorely lacking), when the big action sequence arrives at the end, you're invested in what's happening -- and you actually care.

I confess to never having watched many of the "Apes" films. I do recall seeing the Tim Burton remake in theaters a decade ago, and even as a 12-year-old kid, I thought, Wow, this sucks. "Rise" is infinitely better, more creative and more emotionally stirring -- as aforementioned, it's nothing completely unique or novel from a storytelling standpoint, but it's well-crafted in an old-fashioned, refreshingly familiar way, and the addition of groundbreaking CGI makes it a "must-see" rather than something to catch on television. Fox isn't known for pleasing fans with their remakes and sequels (whether it be Die Hard or Wolverine), but Summer 2011 sees two of their biggest properties successfully reinvigorated: first "X-Men First Class," and now this. For my money, "Apes" is better -- perhaps the best blockbuster of the season -- which I never in a million years expected to say.

Without spoiling anything, the film sets itself up for a sequel. Considering it's on track to smash expectations and take in $55 mil this weekend alone, it's pretty much a sure-thing that it will happen. Hopefully the follow-up takes heed of this film's strengths and doesn't abandon the character development in favor of boisterous action sequences. The fact that audiences are reacting strongly to this movie is an indication of what's been lacking all summer: stories with characters we care about. Go see this if you want to end a disappointing summer on a positive note.

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101 out of 139 people found the following review useful:

Summer 2011: A season blessed with brilliant prequels

9/10
Author: (cuppa_tetleys@hotmail.co.uk) from United Kingdom
17 August 2011

To begin on a tangent before evaluating the film, before summer 2011, I had not seen a decent prequel film. Prequels to films are often made when there is either a rich back story behind the originals or the producers are wanting a little more money from a particular franchise (see the Star Wars prequels). The problem they present is that film- makers have to construct their work, with the knowledge that the audience knows how it ends. One of the greatest things about seeing a film for the first time is the surprise and anticipation, to removing that can detract a lot from the overall impact of the film. But this summer I have had the pleasure of seeing X-men First Class, and now Rise of the Planet of the Apes - two excellent prequels to series that I didn't care for previously.

Rise of the Planet of the Apes (RPA from now on, I can't bear typing it) is not only a triumph in CG animation, but as a stellar science fiction film, that remembers that films are infinitely more engaging when the audience actually cares for the characters on screen. Too often do I see films with a high premise that forget to flesh out their characters, leaving us to run around in mindless, weightless explosions with nobodies who we know less than 3 things about (cough, Transformers 3). Yes, RPA is about super intelligent apes that ransack cities and take on armed forces with little more than what surrounds them, but before we get to that there is an enormous amount of development from the main protagonist; Caesar. Although the advertisement trumpets James Franco, John Lithgow etc, the real star here is Andy Serkis, along with millions of dollars worth of CG animation to create the most expressive animated creatures on film. Even with Avatar, using real humans, pales in comparison to the amount of detail going into every single one of these apes; there is not one second in the film where you cannot understand one of the primates intentions - you could practically vocalise them yourself with the refined eye movement, body language that clearly separates Caesar from his more primitive relatives. Needless to say, Caesar's performance is flawless; after all this is the man who brought Gollum to life, but he captures the screen with an entirely wordless performance, which to me is the greatest part of the film. I felt for Caesar more than any other character in this film, and he did it without saying a word. Eat that Michael Bay. I was almost in tears at one point during one of Caesar's more emotional scenes for Christ Sake - although a chimp, the heightened intelligence really gives him just enough human characteristic to be above the uncanny valley while still behaving like an animal.

The humans in the film were what I considered weakest in this film; not any of the performances were bad, but a little more development in some minor characters and some tweak in the writing here and there would have made this a perfect 10. Tom Felton (Draco Malfoy) felt a bit off to me; he was cruel but almost in a cartoon way, though I suspect that's more to do with ill writing than any personal issues. The main cast are good, though at it's current length, I think more development with James Franco's character wouldn't have gone amiss, but then again, this might have thrown off the pacing.

Another thing I love about this film is that while taking a sharp diversion from its roots in terms of gradual characterisation, it does a superb job of delivering what everyone inevitably came for. A massive Chimpocalypse. A simian uprising that sees the downtrodden apes taking up arms against humanity, and in three words: it's f - ing cool. Made all the more exciting by the anticipation and the feel for these characters, the marvellous point about Caesar's character is that we sympathise with him, we understand why he leads an ape army AND WE SUPPORT HIM. A super intelligent ape is rallying a chimp attack force to free themselves from their confines, cause mayhem, disrupt order and ultimately rule humanity AND WE WANT THEM TO. And for that I applaud.

I love a film that makes us look inwards at ourselves and question our own moral codes and attitudes to events in life (this one clearly representing a case of animal cruelty) that make us conclude that WE are indeed the bad guys, and we need to change. Living in a small, rural middle-class society (like myself) or a well-developed area often makes mainstream audiences forget about those less fortunate than themselves, and what it drives them to, or in this case, what having too much drives us to, and it's refreshing to see something that reminds us of how much of a plague we are to the rest of the planet.

Overall, I would say a strong 9/10, perhaps not quite reaching the highs that First Class did, but by God, was it more consistent - definitely watch this one, and stay after the credits.

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88 out of 119 people found the following review useful:

Apes Will Rise!!

9/10
Author: CinemaPat from United States
11 August 2011

Disaster movies are a dime a dozen now a days. We have seen an influx of Alien takeovers recently and it is getting a bit stale I must admit. Don't get me wrong, I love films about ET's taking over, but Hollywood has beaten that horse to death. "Rise of the Planet of the Apes" is a welcome change to this trend pitting us measly humans against our closest ancestors, Great Apes. Directed by Rupert Wyatt ("The Escapist") and supported by the unbelievable WETA Digital ("King Kong", "Lord of the Rings", "Avatar") for special effects. "Apes" is a wonder of motion capture, an intelligent heart felt script with great direction. Unfortunately, the human actors left a lot to be desired. But this film isn't about the humans, it's all about the Simians.

As plots go, this is pretty basic. James Franco plays Will Rodman, a brilliant scientist with a breakthrough drug that just may cure Alzheimer's. Rodman and his team are using chimpanzee's to test this new drug and in the process find out that it increases intelligence as well as repair cells in the brain. One of the test subjects gets loose in an intense sequence and ultimately put down. It turns out that she had just given birth to a beautiful baby chimp who inherited this new "altered" gene. Rodman decides the only moral thing to do is to take the baby home while a co-worker tries to find a sanctuary but once Rodman finds out that this little ball of fur has the intelligence of a human child twice it's age he decides to keep and raise the chimp as a child. It's only a matter of time that our chimp Caesar figures out he is not like the other children in the neighborhood. Rodman is forced to give up Caesar to an "Ape Sanctuary" and there begins some of the most exhilarating revolutionary action I've ever seen.

Technically, this film is massive. The work WETA Digital did with motion capture (mo-cap) is truly a wonder to behold. Visual Effects Supervisor with WETA Digital Joe Letteri stated that they built on the technology used in "Avatar" to produce the most realistic and accurate portrayal of the actors suited to play the Simians. Andy Serkis (Gollum from "Lord of the Rings" and Kong from "King Kong") plays chimp Caesar. Serkis manages to fool all of us into believing he is a real animal with super intelligence. His facial emotions and mannerisms should most certainly nominate him for an Oscar. There is a real connection that the audience feels with Caesar and it is all thanks to Serkis' work. Without such an experienced mo-cap actor, this film would not have been such a success.

Not only is the technology used to create the revolution amazing, the action is top notch as well. Many times I found myself with my jaw on the floor from the intense sequences put to screen. Everything from a simple terrifying look from an angry ape to the full out battle on the Golden Gate Bridge was pulled off without a hitch. Many points to the pacing of the films action as it could have been the crutch that killed this beast of a film. One of the most amazing scenes in my opinion is when a group of apes are fleeing over top a suburban neighborhood through the trees. While this is going on we see some people on the street while leaves upon leaves are falling to the ground. This level of detail is apparent in every shot, brilliant work by the production team.

My only problems with this film is the acting from Franco and Freida Pinto, who plays the love interest. They both seemed to "phone it in" as it were. They were not overly impressive and just seemed stale. Maybe the director wanted them to tone it down so that Serkis would have more of an impact acting as a voiceless chimp. Either way, as I said in the beginning, this film wasn't about the humans. It's about compassion, freedom and understanding and on those levels the film is a grand success.

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